Jesse McLaughlan

Travelled to 14 countries / regions

Written 48 briefs
Visited Davao City in September 2019



Asia > Philippines > Davao > Useful Info
Updated on Nov 02, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get around Davao City for visitors

  • Getting around Davao City is pretty easy, much easier than Manila. There are 4 main ways to get around the city: taxi/Grab taxi, Jeepney, tricycle, and walking. Of these, taxi is the best option in my opinion mainly due to how cheap it is. More details on each of these options below

  • Option 1) By taxi/Grab taxi (best option)
  • Given how cheap taxis are in Davao, I'd say this is the best way for visitors to get around the city
  • Fare:
  • Taxis fares start at 40 pesos ($0.8USD) and goes up around 15 pesos ($0.3USD) per km.
  • Most trips in the city will cost you just $1-$2USD. As I talked about here, even a trip to the airport will cost you only just $3-$6USD
  • All taxis are metered in Davao. They have a reputation in Philippines for being honest, but I would still suggest that you make sure the meter is on
  • Note that taxis do not take credit cards for payment. It's cash only, so make sure to have plenty of pesos with you
  • How to take taxi in Davao:
  • Taxis can be flagged on the street quite easily. They come in all kinds of colors but yellow and white are the most common (other colors include blue, green, orange)
  • If you're staying in hotel, you can ask the front desk to call one for you, especially if you're going to the airport. You can also call one yourself if you need to. Below I've listed out some of the major taxi companies in Davao
  • Finally, you can use Grab app to get a taxi in Davao. If you've never used Grab before, it's a ride-sharing app that's basically the same thing as Uber or Lyft. Uber actually used to be in Southeast Asia, but it sold its entire Southeast Asian business to Grab in 2017. Grab is based in Singapore but is available in Philippines. In Davao, the only vehicle option available on Grab is metered taxi, rather than private cars. You pay whatever the metered fare is, plus a 25-50 peso booking fee. All in all it'll be slightly more expensive to use Grab than to flag a taxi on the street, but if you're used to Uber then this is a very convenient option. Of course you'll need to have cellphone data (or wifi) to use the app (you can get a SIM card at Davao airport). You can download the app at
  • Major taxi companies in Davao:
  • Maligaya Taxi: they're the biggest taxi comany in Davao. You can see their yellow cabs everywhere in the city. Book at (082) 299-1111. They also own the green Pacificab taxi, the Orange Taxi, and the light blue MasterCabUser submitted photo of DavaoUser submitted photo of DavaoUser submitted photo of DavaoUser submitted photo of Davao
  • Midvalley Taxi: their cabs are white. Book at (915) 180-4328User submitted photo of Davao
  • Holiday Taxi: their cabs are also white. Book at (082) 300-1717, (082) 221-0665, (082) 221-3085User submitted photo of Davao
  • Mabuhay Taxi: their cabs are blue and black. Book at (082) 234-1360, (082) 235-1784, (082) 233-0445User submitted photo of DavaoUser submitted photo of Davao

  • Option 2) By Jeepney:
  • Jeepneys are effectively the public buses in many Filipino cities, including Davao. They're minibuses that run on fixed routes all over the city, and they're extremely cheap to take, but their routes are also extremely difficult for visitors to figure out. This is what they look like:User submitted photo of Davao
  • Fare: most Jeepney rides in the city will cost you 10-20 pesos ($0.2-$0.4USD). You can take it to the airport too for 20-50 pesos
  • How to take Jeepney:
  • The hardest part about taking a Jeepney is knowing which one to take. As I mentioned above, each Jeepney has a specific route that it stays on, and this route information is hard to find.
  • The best way to find the correct Jeepney is to ask your hotel or a local (tell them where you're trying to get to and they can tell you which Jeepney you need to take and where the stop is). Alternatively, I came across this app called Davao City Jeepney Guide that's available on Android (only) that has a pretty comprehensive information on the route information for the Jeepneys, the app will overlay the route on a map, but it doesn't tell you where all the stops are
  • Once you figure out which Jeepney to take, just go to the stop and wait for Jeepney to show up. When it approaches, just get onto the vehicle through the back. Then give your fare to the driver. If there are other passengers between you and the driver, you can hand your money to them and they will pass it onto the driver

  • Option 3) By tricycle:
  • Tricycles, also called trikes, is a very popular way to get around in Philippines. It's basically tuk tuks. They look like this in Davao:User submitted photo of Davao
  • Price: an average ride in the city costs 50-100 pesos. It's basically the same price as taxis
  • How to take tricycle: They can be flagged on the streets, and frequently you'll just see a bunch of them parked on the roadside that you can approach. Note that trikes are only really good for short distance travels within the city. They're not allowed on the highways so you can't take them to the surrounding area or even to the airport
  • Overall I do not recommend taking tricycles, because they're not cheaper than taxis and less comfortable than taxis. They're good if you can't find taxis nearby

  • By walking:
  • Davao is not a massive city, and the city centre area is quite walkable in my opinion.
  • I found the traffic here to be less crazy and the streets to be much cleaner than some other parts of Philippines (like Manila)
  • You can walk to most places within the central area in under 20-30 minutes
  • The only thing you have to keep in mind is the temperature. It's almost always 30 degrees Celsius during the day any time of the year, so make sure you're staying well hydrated